David Yates has confirmed that the upcoming Fantastic Beasts sequel will not ‘explicitly’ reference Albus Dumbledore as gay – even though it’s been over 10 years since JK Rowling confirmed that, yes, Dumbledore was gay.
It’s another blow for LGBTQ representation on the big screen – especially after 12 months of queer cinema really being recognised with the likes of Call Me By Your Name and God’s Own Country- but Yates claimed that as fans are ‘aware’ of his sexuality, there’s no need to mention it on screen.
‘He had a very intense relationship with Grindelwald when they were young men. They fell in love with each other’s ideas, and ideology and each other,’ added Yates, speaking to EW.
The second film in the Fantastic Beasts series – the second of five – will introduce us to Johnny Depp’s Grindelwald, and will set audiences down a path that will lead to an epic battle between Dumbledore and Grindelwald.
Surely their romance is part of that story?
And perhaps it would be wise to add it to a film that will introduce fans to a young Dumbledore for the first time, and which focuses on his pursuit of the fugitive Grindelwald? Who was his ex-lover?
Dumbledore’s sexuality was never mentioned in Rowling’s seven books, nor any of the numerous films that have followed, and it was only in 2007 that she revealed that in her head he was gay.
‘Dumbledore fell in love with Grindelwald, and that added to his horror when Grindelwald showed himself to be what he was,’ she said at the time.
‘To an extent, do we say it excused Dumbledore a little more because falling in love can blind us to an extent, but he met someone as brilliant as he was and, rather like Bellatrix, he was very drawn to this brilliant person and horribly, terribly let down by him.’
Fans of the series – who are already rather upset that Rowling and Yates defended Depp’s involvement after physical assault allegations were made against him by his ex-wife Amber Heard – are now livid that this easy piece of representation has been blocked.
But Rowling is livid that people are getting angry before they’ve ever seen the film.
Being sent abuse about an interview that didn't involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that's only one instalment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what's even *more* fun? pic.twitter.com/Rj6Zr8aKUk
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 31, 2018
‘Being sent abuse about an interview that didn’t involve me, about a screenplay I wrote but which none of the angry people have read, which is part of a five-movie series that’s only one installment in, is obviously tons of fun, but you know what’s even *more* fun?’ tweeted Rowling.
She then added a gif that suggested she was hitting a mute button.
Maybe she’s right, maybe this second film will be so vague about their history together that it will be totally fine for it not to be ‘explicitly’ obvious that Dumbledore is gay.
But Rowling made it canon in 2007 so why not just make it a clear part of Dumbledore’s storyline, rather than another wink wink nudge nudge part of storytelling that has been used in other films such as the recent Ghostbusters (director Paul Feig openly admitted he wasn’t allowed to have his character be explicity gay), The Hangover, and even Beauty And The Beast.
We know Dumbledore is gay, you know he is gay.
I suggest that perhaps we just give Dumbledore a peach in the opening scene, and call it a day.